Saturday, February 25, 2006

Change of plans

This morning, we were supposed to go to Wisconsin to pick up our new buckling, but more than a foot of snow up north changed our plans. It's a lovely day here, so it's hard to believe that the people in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan are snowed in!

We are so excited about getting this little buckling, and we've been waiting almost two years for him. We got a half brother of his two years ago, and after we'd had him for about six weeks, he died. It was our first awareness that we had a parasite problem, but it was quite a learning experience for us. It also introduced us to the Vet Clinic at the University of Illinois, and it caused us to learn how to do our own fecal exams. And even though the breeder didn't have to do this, she told us that next time his mother had a buckling, she would give him to us. We were thrilled and have been waiting expectantly ever since. Last year, unfortunately, the mother gave birth to triplet does. The breeder was thrilled, of course, but it meant we'd have to wait for our new little buck.

So, why are we so excited about this little guy? His mother has a VERY impressive udder with beautiful, long teats that are easy to milk. She also has a milk star, meaning that she's a good producer, and her butterfat tested at 11%, which is out of this world. Nigerians normally have butterfat that's about twice as high as a big milk goat, or 7-8% versus 3-4%, and that's why we love their milk so much. Having 11% butterfat is a cheesemaker's dream! So, we're hoping that little Valentino (yes, we're naming him after the silent movie heart throb) will make daughters with his mother's beautiful udder and high butterfat. And it's just icing on the cake that he has blue eyes, so half of his babies will have blue eyes. Every year, we get requests for goats with blue eyes, but all of our goats have brown eyes, so this little guy will also fill a sale niche for us.

Provided the weather cooperates, we will be heading up to Wisconsin tomorrow to meet the breeder halfway and bring home our new beautiful little buck! He's going to be a busy boy next fall! I hope the other bucks don't get too jealous.

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